Published December 23rd
Eileen Wargo, the secretary for Jerry McDevitt, a partner in the Pittsburgh office of the law firm K&L Gates, either is or isn’t following me under the Twitter handle “@ewklg.” Wargo also either did or didn’t quit K&L Gates earlier this year to become an assistant to a vice president at Ariba, Inc., a computer software company, according to contradictory profiles at the business networking site LinkedIn. And to get way out there – but in a completely justified way under the circumstances – Wargo either is or isn’t the person behind yet another LinkedIn account representing that she attended Bryant University and is talent at a strip club in Hartford, Connecticut.
Presumably we’ll get answers to at least some of these open questions in the near future. The vice president at Ariba will tell me whether he has ever employed an Eileen Wargo; or LinkedIn will investigate and report which information submitted to it was real and which bogus; or our Eileen Wargo or a competing one will speak up; or (maybe my favorite) Jerry McDevitt will dispatch a legalistic letter to me complaining that all this speculation is an outrageous smear of his spotless reputation – an assertion perhaps proven by the fact that one of my posts contained a typo.
In the meantime, let’s examine an aspect of @ewklg’s Twitter activities that I haven’t gotten into yet: all the people “Eileen” follows and what that tells us about how little is different between and among the hermetically sealed domains of pro wrestling, “respectable” sports, and national politics.
In addition to myself, “Eileen” follows the publisher of a Matt Drudge-style linkfest news site, Capitol Report, in Connecticut. That is where Linda McMahon, Vince’s wife and the founder and ex-CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., is making her second run for a United States Senate seat. McDevitt has been the McMahons’ and WWE’s go-to lawyer for many years.
“Eileen” also follows two other Twitter accounts: those of a guy in Illinois operating a conscientious blog about sports concussions, and of a company called Axon Sports. I know almost nothing about the latter, but it is obviously a business competitor of the Pittsburgh for-profit company ImPACT Applications, Inc., marketer of the most popular “concussion management” software product in the sports world, whose principal owners all come from, and have consonant commercial interests with, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. One of those people is Dr. Joseph Maroon – long-time team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, traumatic brain injury committee member and prominent consultant and public spokesman for the NFL, and medical director of WWE.
Last year, campaigning in Connecticut in support of Linda McMahon’s then opponent, now Senator Richard Blumenthal, President Barack Obama tried to mock McMahon with the line, “Public service is not a game.”
I beg to differ, Mr. President. Public service is not only a game. But as the incestuous relationships of sports, sports entertainment, sports medicine, and political and government leaders prove – in the city of Pittsburgh, in the state of Connecticut, and in the country as a whole – public service is most definitely a game.